Thursday, October 03, 2013

Why is Congress still getting paid?

I'm sure you've seen all the memes and graphics demanding to know why Congress is still getting paid, or saying they should get minimum wage, or be furloughed too. I know I have - and I'm already sick of them.

Can anyone explain it, people ask plaintively, like it's some huge mystery.

Yes. I can explain it. It's in the Constitution. Originally intended to prevent them from voting a pay raise for themselves, the 27th amendment means their pay cannot be changed until a House election has taken place - so FY2015. Even assuming this particular House would vote to take away their pay during a shutdown (it is like other fixed expenses), by law it couldn't take effect in time to actually dock their pay.

This is simple. Annoying, but simple. Please people, direct your anger at stuff that can actually be changed.

And all those pictures and rants? It just makes me think you don't actually know the Constitution very well. 

PS: Congressmen can't "retire with full pay" after one term; they're either CSRS or FERS employees. Congressmen do pay into Social Security. Congressmen aren't exempt from prosecution. Congressmen aren't "exempt" from the ACA (Obamacare); they simply already have health insurance, which means they don't need to get more. Nor do you, if you have it already.



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